Irish weather forecast: Hail and thunder to batter Ireland today, with more rain this weekend

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This morning may have started brightly for those in northern parts of Ireland, but the Irish weather forecast says conditions are set to change dramatically this afternoon.

Irish meteorological service Met Eireann has forecast heavy rain from the south and west to spread across the country this afternoon.

A strong risk of hail and even thunder has been warned with a mix of heavy showers and some sunny spells predicted for the weekend.

Gusty winds and showers

While the Emerald Isle may appear pleasantly dry in parts of Ulster and the midlands this morning, the afternoon is set to change.

The Irish weather forecast has warned that southerly winds will pick up and turn gusty this afternoon.

Heavy showers in Munster and Connacht will be pushed in a northeasterly direction, introducing rain to the rest of the country later today.

The Atlantic coast will continue to get battered by persistent downpours of rain and hail with a high risk of thunder in places.

Temperatures will vary between highs of 14 degrees Celsius in the capital to a chillier 11C in rural areas.

Heavy rain will continue in the west and southwest overnight with more hail and thunder arriving during the early part of Friday morning.

Showers will become isolated and lighter in the east with Friday bringing dry spells to Dublin and Belfast.

Temperatures will drop as low as 2C in parts of Ulster and Leinster feeling very wintery for any early risers.

More rain to come

Friday will be another showery day with heavy downpours forecast for southern counties and a risk of more hail and thunder in the southwest.

Conditions will dry up in the northwest of Ireland with some sunny spells and highs of 13C making for a rather pleasant afternoon.

The rest of the country will experience a showery day with temperatures varying between 11C and 13C.

Leinster and east Ulster are to get heavier downpours overnight on Friday while conditions are to dry up for a period in the west and south.

Temperatures may even stay in double figures in parts of Cork until dawn.

A light variable breeze and prolonged dry conditions may be seen in Galway well into the late part of Saturday morning with highs of 13C.

The southern coastline may also get some sunny spells and 13C into Saturday afternoon with a light breeze and little cloud.

Drying up

The rest of Ireland will continue to see scattered showers throughout the day but any thundery hail will pass.

Showers feeding in off the Irish Sea to the east will bring more rain to Dublin and make it feel cooler.

Top temperatures of 11C and persistent rain in the northeast of Ulster will make a rather miserable afternoon.

The Irish weather forecast has predicted Sunday as the best of the weekend with the west, north, south and midlands to enjoy clear skies all morning.

The east will continue to get scattered showers with lows of 12C in most parts of Dublin, Wexford and Waterford.

Moderate northerly winds will make it feel suitable cold in eastern coastal areas but warmer in sunny parts of the west.